Given faces losing his European spot to Hart

 

Shay Given was last night contemplating having to cede his Europa League place to Joe Hart, but remains no less positive towards the Englishman who, despite his indifferent form, has left him without a look-in at Manchester City.



Given who, having started only four games – three in Europe and one in the League Cup – is only 50/50 to get the nod from Roberto Mancini as City resume their European campaign at Aris Thessaloniki of Greece. That seems hard on Given, with the concentration levels of the goalkeeper 11 years his junior being questioned by Mancini and his England counterpart Fabio Capello. But Given said he was prepared to help Hart. "Well possibly [yes]," said Given. "He is a young guy and young in goalkeeping terms as well. You know, he doesn't pick the team, it's the manager who does. So you would like to think you would help him in any way. He'll learn. You know, I made mistakes in my career. You learn from making mistakes, and you become a stronger and better goalkeeper. Joe will be the same."

If Mancini does select Given for his first start since City signed off their group stage campaign at Juventus on 16 December, the 34-year-old will be conscious that his lack of competitive action presents an extra level of difficulty for himself. "I don't think worry is the word you're looking for, [but] it's not ideal," he said. "But you've got to play with the hand you've been dealt. That's the situation I'm in and there's nothing I can do to change that. I'm not a young keeper but I've played a good few games in my career and I'd like to think I can call on that experience to get me through a difficult period, obviously."

Mancini may field a fairly strong side, as Aris look to maintain a 40-year, 24-match unbeaten home run in Uefa club competition. Their side presents only one familiar character to City – Nery Castillo, the Mexican known as el Diablo who stumped up half the £3m loan fee to join Sven Goran Eriksson at Eastlands from Shakhtar Donetsk in the 2007/8 season.

Mancini, whose side will take on the winners of Besiktas and Dynamo Kiev if they progress, has taken Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli to Greece's second city and Michael Johnson – who has been out of first-team football since a training ground injury 14 months ago. Balotelli and Johnson are unlikely to feature. James Milner misses the first leg game with a hamstring injury sustained in Saturday's Manchester derby and Nigel de Jong's ankle prolongs his absence.

"I've been working and training harder than normal ... because I don't have to save myself for games, I suppose. I like to think I'll be a little bit stronger and better in [match] situations," Given concluded.

Manchester City (possible, 4-2-3-1): Hart; Richards, K Touré, Boateng, Zabaleta; Barry, Vieira; Wright-Phillips, Y Touré, Jo; Dzeko.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence